Gottfried: Leslie Will Start vs. BC

NC State head coach Mark Gottfried fielded questions from the media on his weekly teleconference.

Opening Statement:
We're coming off a game where we played well on the road so we're feeling good now, but the question for us is if we can handle having some success, even though we haven't had a lot.

We're looking forward to Thursday night. I think Boston College is much improved, even from the beginning of the year until now. They are obviously 2-1 in the league. A young team, but they are extremely dangerous because they have bought into everything that Steve is doing.

We know we have our hands full on Thursday.

Coach, how do you expect No. 5 to respond for the discipline you gave him for the Wake game?
I believe very well. We haven't practiced yet, we took yesterday off and we will practice today, but my anticipation is that he is going to come back, if his ankle is well, which I think it is better, and be very good. Which I think he's been for the most part this year so I don't anticipate anything other than that.

What is Jordan Vandenberg's injury? Is there a chance he comes back or will you apply for a medical hardship?
No, we'll wait until the end of the year and apply for the hardship. He qualifies under all the parameters. He has a shoulder injury that has kept him out of a number of games and practices, so I think it's the wisest thing to do on his behalf.

Does that leave you a little thin inside?
Yes, yes it does. You want to do what's best for your team, but you've also got to do what is best for the individual.

I think in this case, it's our responsibility to look out for him. He's missed so much that I think it would be unfair... he's behind so it's the right thing to do. I feel that way, strongly.

As a coach do you appreciate how BC runs their sets and players listen to coach Donahue?
Absolutely. I had him twice when I worked for ESPN. So, I really probably grew in my appreciation and respect for him because I did not know his teams very well. He does a spectacular job.

You have to remember, they are starting four freshmen, so they are much different now and in the last few weeks than early. When you watch tape of them and some of the early games, you can almost throw those out. It's a different team.

I think he's an excellent coach.

What did you see in practice leading up to Saturday's game that suggested your team was prepared to put on that kind of defensive performance?
Nothing really in practice. I'd like to say we did some magical things, but we didn't. We talked about the Georgia Tech game. I think our guys were very disappointed in the way we played, and we addressed the issues that needed to be addressed. We practiced two good days where we were able to focus on areas that we weren't very good. We played much better.

But I don't think there was anything magical or different that I saw in practice.

Can you talk about the overall play of Scott Wood? He is shooting 47% from the floor. He leads the league in 3-point shooting. He is shooting 100% from the line, and he only has 14 turnovers this year in 503 minutes, which is almost one turnover in every 36 minutes he plays. Can you talk about his improvement?
I think he gets better every day. He plays the game without making very many mistakes. We all know what a threat he is to shoot the basketball, and he doesn't try to do things he can't do, which a lot of players do at times.

We like to use the term solid, and he is about as solid as you can get in that regard.

Regarding Scott and his free throw streak, have you ever seen any coached someone with a streak like that and do you treat it sort of like a baseball team with a pitcher who has a no-hitter going?
I don't think I've had anybody this far. I had Mo Williams who went on quite a streak at Alabama at one point, but Scott is phenomenal. He is the best foul shooter that I've been around.

With him we don't do anything different. I don't think it's anything we talk about a lot. I think with all of our players we shoot a lot of foul shots in practice, all of us. We want everybody to concentrate and everybody needs to have the objective to improve. We all have to get better.

We don't really treat Scott any different. It's not like no one talks to him or he's a field goal kicker. He just plays and continues to do what he does.

Back on C.J. Leslie, how will you handle it in practice in terms of putting him back in the lineup. DeShawn Painter had a good game as well.
He did. There is no question and I was proud of DeShawn, but I told Calvin that was for one game. We'll go back to normal.

I think it was a good confidence boost for DeShawn, and we need DeShawn. We need Calvin... we need everybody. So my anticipation is we'll go right back to normal and go to work.

Do you track free throws in practice and if so what is the most Scott has made in practice?
We shoot 20 everyday and chart them. We keep track of them, but that's it, each day. I'm sure there have been periods where he has made 20 for 20 on consecutive days, but we don't track that though.

I know you've had some lineup changes for various reasons. Do you want to keep the same five or open to changing it up?
In a perfect world I would like to have the same group but it doesn't always work that way. Things happen.

I'm not a guy that makes a lot of excuses. If a guy is out for whatever reason and isn't playing, we have to step forward and play, and move on.

Most people do [like consistency], especially if you're winning. If you're losing, you may want to evaluate your team and shake things up, but I do think players get into a rhythm, even if they are coming off the bench. They get in that groove and when I'm normally coming into the game. I think there are some positives with that.

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